Initial Boss Planning
After collecting all the collectibles, completed every side missions, defeated every enemies the game throws at the player, what’s else is there for the player? Well, in most games, this is where the final boss comes in. They represent the final hurdle the player must jump over in order to complete the game. However, even though the player completed everything in the game and has made it this far, it doesn’t mean the final boss will be a pushover. And yet, if the developers made the boss too difficult, the player would lose interest. Therefore, it’s in the interest of everybody to balance what the player has gain and the difficulty of the final boss.
The Boss Model
The boss could be anything, from a tree to a being that’s beyond the game’s comprehension. However, if we don’t want to break the immersion we created along the way, it’s important to keep the boss close to the theme we have chosen. Because the game is an arcade-inspired space shooter, it leaves little doubt the final boss will be space related.
Due to the fact that the characters seen in the games are essentially spaceships, I’ve decided that the final boss would be a giant ship that comes out after destroying waves after waves of enemies.
Because this is the final boss, it makes sense for the boss to slowly come down from the top of the screen and towards the player. Yet, if the boss doesn’t move around, it wouldn’t be difficult for the player to defeat the boss. Therefore, it’s also important to think about what the boss will do once it enters the ring.
In terms of movement, I’ve envision the boss will either sway left and right or a zig zag pattern. Ideally, it should be a zig zag pattern for 2 reasons. First, it reminisce back to the retro arcade games where the final boss has a random movement pattern. Second, I haven’t incorporate a zig zag pattern onto the regular enemies yet, so it would be an element of surprise for the player when they start seeing the boss moving around “erratically”.
I can have the location of the lasers coming from the boss in the middle. However it would be too simple to implement and easy for the player; due to the size of the boss, it would make it easy for the player to dodge the lasers fired by the boss and just spam lasers into the boss until it dies. As a result, I’ve come up with ways to change the boss from the ordinary enemies (aside from size):
The first modification is giving the boss an additional weapon: the continuous laser. The single laser and mine were incorporated into other enemies, so giving the boss the long, continuous laser will be a surprise for the player.
The second is the how should the boss fire. Instead of deciding if it should be randomly like ordinary enemies or should it be time based, the boss should be able to do both. Use a random sequence to fire single lasers and mines at the player while using a time-based sequence to fire its continuous laser.
The last modification is the location of where the ammo will fly out from. As of right now, the boss will be firing from the 3 longest points from the ship. If this isn’t enough, I can add additional spawn locations. Regardless of how many I chose, it’s important to remind that the more spawn locations I give for the boss, the difficulty arise due to ammo flying all over the screen.